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Cherry Jam Crostata

Cherry Jam Crostata


  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) cold water
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Recipe Preparation

  • Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor 5 seconds. Add butter. Using on/off turns, blend until coarse meal forms. Add egg, egg yolk, and 2 tablespoons water. Using on/off turns, blend until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball. Divide into 2 pieces, 1 slightly larger than the other. Wrap and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

  • Roll out larger dough piece on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Fold in overhang and press, forming double-thick sides. Roll out smaller dough piece on sheet of floured parchment paper to 10-inch round. Cut round into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Chill strips on parchment.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir jam, lemon peel, and almond extract in small bowl to blend. Spoon filling into crust in pan. Arrange pastry strips atop filling in lattice pattern, spacing 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart. Seal strips to crust edge and trim ends.

  • Bake tart until crust is golden and filling bubbles thickly, about 55 minutes. Cool tart in pan. Push up pan bottom, releasing tart. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.

  • Dust tart with powdered sugar.

Recipe by Francesca, Margherita Padovani,Reviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 pound black plums&mdashhalved, pitted and cut into 1/3-inch wedges
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup cherry jam
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Luxardo cherries (see Note), optional
  • Heavy cream, for brushing
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar and salt. Using your fingertips, blend in the butter until pea-size pieces form. Add the buttermilk and vinegar and mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Pat into a 1-inch-thick disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a sheet of lightly floured parchment paper, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry dough to a 14-inch round that's 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the plums with the 3 tablespoons of sugar, the cornstarch and lemon zest and toss to coat.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Spread the cherry jam in an 8-inch square in the center of the dough round, leaving about 3 inches around. Scatter the Luxardo cherries, if using, on top. Layer the plums, slightly overlapping, over the jam. Fold the rim of dough over the filling, leaving the center exposed and tucking in the corners to create a square crostata. Brush the dough with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 375° and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the pastry is deep golden and the filling is bubbling and slightly runny. Transfer to a rack to let cool until warm. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Crostata recipes

To demonstrate its versatility, other than this classic and evergreen Crostata di marmellata (Jam Tart), here is a list of the different crostate I make (so many!):

  • Crostata Ricotta e Marmellata di Visciole (Ricotta and Sour Cherry Crostata), a Roman classic
  • Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato (Ricotta and Chocolate Tart),another Roman classic with an olive oil cocoa short pastry
  • Quince Jam Tart (Crostata con Marmellata di Mele Cotogne)with an olive oil pastry dough
  • Chocolate Crostata with Chestnut Jam,with a butter cocoa pastry dough with complimentary haskap jam recipe the Italian answer to Pumpkin Pie a savory version made during Easter time in Italy

Crostata Ricotta e Marmellata di Visciole (Ricotta and Sour Cherry Crostata)

Crostata Ricotta e Marmellata di Visciole (Ricotta and Sour Cherry Crostata), a delicious and irresistible dessert of the Jewish Roman cuisine. A lemon flavored pasta frolla (shortcrust pastry), filled with a layer of visciole (sour cherry jam or fresh sour cherries), and a layer of sweetened ricotta. To this day, you can enjoy this crostata in Rome in the Jewish Ghetto’s bakeries, or in many restaurants specialized in traditional Roman cuisine.

Song of the day: Sting, Shaggy - Just One Lifetime

Rome has a way of getting under your skin. Despite the traffic, the loudness of its people, the amount of tourists any time of the year, the incoherences.

Rome is not an "easy" city to live in, but it is also a unique city, and one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. You can rant and rave about all the things that do not work, that you would like were different and better. But in the end, all it takes to forget -if just momentarily- is a walk through the city getting "lost" in its alleys. Even after a lifetime in Rome, you still admire the magnificence and wonder at how amazing its iconic foods are.

Like this Crostata Ricotta e Marmellata di Visciole (Ricotta and Sour Cherry Crostata).

Crostata Ricotta e Visciole

It seems that the origins of the Crostata Ricotta e Visciole date back to the 18th century, when a papal edict forbade Jews to sell dairy products to Christians. It was then that the bakers, to elude the controls of the papal guards, decided to hide the ricotta between two layers of pastry and mixing it with the sour cherries to make it less visible. As a matter of fact, the traditional Jewish tart does not have the lattice top as the usual crostata, but it is covered with a layer of pastry on top.

Since there is no official recipe, there are several variations:

  • the purists who use whole visciole (sour cherries) instead of visciolata (sour cherry jam),
  • those who mix the ricotta with the sour cherries instead of keeping the two layers distinct,
  • those who omit the egg in the ricotta,
  • those who stay traditional and cover the crostata with a layer of pastry,
  • and the ones who decorate it with the lattice top.

Only one thing seems to be imperative: the ricotta has to be sheep's ricotta, typical of Rome and the area, ricotta that is richer and "fatter" than the lighter cow's ricotta.

I chose to separate the layers of ricotta and sour cherry jam and make the lattice top. I made the lozenges wider but stayed traditional to the definition of a crostata.

How to describe a crostata

Crostata is the quintessential Italian dessert. Store bought or homemade, it is the dessert we make and eat the most, in all its variations. A bit like a pie, a lot like a tart, crostata has its own personality. Not to be confused with a galette which has a free-form crust, the crostata is a baked tart that has a shortcrust pastry at the bottom, and -mostly- a lattice crust on top. In the middle, there can be different fillings: jam, chocolate, ricotta, ricotta and jam, cream and fruit. The crostata can also be blind-baked and then filled with pastry cream (crema pasticciera) and topped with fresh fruit, and this is called crostata di frutta.

Every occasion is good for Crostata

Every occasion can be a special occasion to make crostata. Typical end of a Sunday lunch, or Christmas and Easter dessert, it is nonetheless one of those baked goods that we frequently make just to have it around the house or to bring when invited over to someone's house.

The Crostata Ricotta e Visciole is no exception. Although not exclusively made during Easter time, being a dessert featuring ricotta it is pretty common to find it at Easter like other typical ricotta cakes.

Crostata Ricotta e Visciole is rich and light, sweet and tangy at the same time, in an idyllic duality where differences and extremes often coexist.

For those coming to Rome, a tourist stop is recommended to visit the Jewish quarter and taste this delicacy in one of the most historic Ghetto bakeries in Via del Portico d’Ottavia. In the meantime, you can still have a true taste of Rome just making it at home.

Free-Form Cherry Crostata

For the dough, in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse just to combine ingredients. Drop in the butter pieces, and pulse until mixture is lumpy. With the processor running, pour in 6 tablespoons cold water. Process until the dough just comes together in a lump around the blade, adding a little more flour or cold water if it is too wet or too dry. Scrape the dough onto your work surface, and knead a few times, just to bring it together. Flatten it into a disk, and wrap it in plastic. Let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F with a baking stone on the bottom rack, if you have one. For the filling, tear about half of the fresh cherries in half and put all of the cherries in a large bowl. Stir together the orange juice and cornstarch until smooth and add to the bowl along with the zest, amarena cherries and almond extract. Toss well to combine. Toss the panko and ¼ cup sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.

On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll the dough to a 15-inch circle. Trim the edges to make as round as possible, ending with a circle at least 13 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough on the parchment to a baking sheet, cutting the parchment to fit the sheet. Sprinkle all but a tablespoon or 2 of the crumb mixture in the center of the dough in an 8-inch circle. Mound the fruit on top. Fold the edges of the dough over to make a crust.

Sprinkle the fruit on top with the remaining crumbs. Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.

Put the baking sheet in the oven on the stone and bake until the crust is deep golden and the filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 30 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

Crostata di visciole

I invariably choose crostata di visciole for dessert when out for dinner. Visciole. those delightful cherries that are sweet yet tart at the same time. are just what I love at the end of a delicious meal. Last night at dinner everyone elected to top their dessert with a scoop of gelato so I went with the flow. A wise choice: it was delicious!
So what exactly are visciole? They are wild cherries largely from the Marche region, located on the east coast of central to north Italy, and facing the Adriatic Sea. In the Marche visciole are usually cultivated to produce wine.
Visciole are the product of the prunus cerasus plant and are about half the size of consumer cherries. They yield a wonderful syrup and jam, which is often used to make crostate, or cherry tarts.
If you'd like to make a crostata yourself simply use your favorite buttery crust recipe for tarts and top it with visciole jam. I always top my crostata with a latticed crust as it's prettier. Italians then sprinkle their crostate with powdered sugar before serving.
You don't have to venture off to the Marche for visciole. These small, sour cherries also grow near Rome. Making the jam is simple:

Visciole (Sour Cherry) Jam

Visciole, pitted, 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds)
Sugar, granulated, 200 grams (7 ounces or 1 cup)
Pectin, according to package instructions

Stir visciole, sugar and pectin together in a large, heavyweight pan.
Cook over a medium flame for about five minutes, stirring regularly, until the jam has begun to thicken. Jam will thicken further once it cools.
If desired, use a potato masher to break up the fruit while cooking. My texture preference is to leave some of the fruit whole.
The jam can now be ladled into sterilized jars for future consumption or used right away to prepare a crostata.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 pounds fresh sour cherries, without blemishes, stemmed and pitted
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, (1 lemon)

Place a round wire rack in the bottom of a large stockpot. The rack should fit as snugly as possible and should stand 1/2 to 1 inch above the bottom of the pot. Stand the three jars on the rack, and add the lids it is not necessary to add the screw bands. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars by 1 to 2 inches an additional 1 to 2 inches of space should remain below the rim of the pot so the water doesn't overflow. Bring the water to a simmer (180 degrees), and simmer the lids and jars 10 minutes or until you're ready to fill them. Place 4 small plates in the freezer.

In a medium stockpot, combine sour cherries, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in one-third of remaining sugar, and cook, stirring, until it has dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add sugar in two more batches, stirring each batch until sugar has dissolved.

Bring the mixture to a full boil, and cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes. Place a candy thermometer in the mixture, and cook, stirring frequently, until the temperature registers 220 degrees. 30 to 40 minutes. While cooking, skim any foam that floats to the surface.

With the temperature at 220 degrees. perform a gel test: Remove one of the plates from the freezer, and place a spoonful of the jam on it. Return the plate to the freezer, and wait 1 minute. Remove plate from freezer, and gently nudge the edge of the jam with one finger. If the jam is ready, it will wrinkle slightly when pushed. If it is not ready, it will be too thin to wrinkle. If the jam does not wrinkle on the first attempt, cook two or three minutes more, and repeat the gel test.

Once the jam has gelled properly, remove stockpot from heat. Using canning tongs, remove a jar from the simmering water, and empty the water back into the stockpot. Place the jar on a clean surface, and insert a canning funnel. Using a ladle, pour the jam through the funnel into the jar fill to within 1/4 inch of the rim. Remove the funnel wipe rim with a clean damp towel. Using tongs, lift a lid from the hot water place lid, sealant side down, on the filled jar. Screw down the band, and tighten firmly, being careful not to force it. With the tongs, stand the filled jar in simmering water. Repeat with the remaining jam and jars, making sure the jars aren't touching sides of pot and are spaced 1 inch apart.

Raise the heat to high, cover stockpot, and bring the water to a boil. Process jars in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Using the canning tongs, transfer the jars to a wire rack to cool completely. Let jars stand 24 hours. Check cooled jars for slight indentation in the lid that indicates a vacuum seal. Store jam in a cool, dark place up to 1 year.

Use only two cups sugar, and add one cup of juice from the thawed cherries in step two.

Cherry Jam Crostata - Recipes

With the majority of us hunkered down at home, I know you’d probably expect me to tell you to do things like social distancing from your fridge, drink green juices, workout in your living room every day, etc.
And you should, keeping yourself healthy and active is very important, especially right now.
However, I also believe that it’s paramount to stay sane, light-hearted, and gruntled.
For me, that means eating something comforting, sweet, and delicious every day such as a slice of this Italian Jam Tart (aka crostata).

Lately, my classic breakfast smoothie has been replaced with a slice of crostata which is a quick, crumbly crust pressed into a tart pan, coated with jam, and baked.
It keeps my belly full and happy until lunchtime rolls around. So that takes care of snacking, which we all know is the number one enemy when you're trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The tart is very easy to make.
The dough comes together on a whim in the food processor.

Then you spread it in the pie dish or a cast iron skillet (as I did).

Fill it with your favorite jam and add a little decoration

And voilà a perfect tart.
This crostata is perfect for breakfast, or can be a quick and easy dessert.

A flaky crust filled with your favorite jam, what’s there not to love?

Italian Jam Tart (Crostata) Print this recipe!

Note: any type of jam can be used to make this tart, but my favorites are apricot, raspberry, blueberry, and cherry jam.

Serves 8 big slices

1 ⅔ cups flour (I used a mix of whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour in equal proportions)
¼ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup / 1 stick / 110 gr butter, cold from the fridge
½ cup / 100 gr sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
Zest of one lemon (only the yellow part of the rind)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup of your favorite jam (I used cherry for the one pictured here)

Place flour, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Add the cold cubed butter.
Pulse 3 times with three counts per pulse, until the butter pieces are the size of small peas.
Add sugar, egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
Let the food processor run until the dough comes together (the food processor will start making a louder sound when this happens.)
Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (1 hour best.)
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and place a rack in the middle. Grease and flour a 9-inch pie dish, tart pan or a cast iron skillet.
Remove the dough from the fridge and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Remove about ⅛ of the dough and set aside.
Knead the remaining dough a couple of times to soften it up a little. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thick. You want to do this quickly, without working the dough too much otherwise it becomes crumbly after baking.
Transfer rolled dough to the prepared pie dish. Don't worry if the dough breaks, you can easily patch these tears up once you've lined the dish.
Press down gently on the bottom and sides, then trim off any excess dough.
Use a fork to poke a few holes in the dough, then spread the jam using a spatula.
Re-roll the extra dough, and cut into ½-inch strips and lay them over the jam in a cross-hatch pattern.
Bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven, let cool completely, then transfer to a plate, slice and enjoy!

Crostata alla Marmellata

Jam tarts are classic Italian desserts. Every home baker and her nonna has a favorite recipe, often incorporating homemade jam created with ripe fruit from the orto, or garden patch. Don't have a garden patch or go-to guide? Don't worry: we have enough Italian jams for a dozen tarts — with our own favorite recipe, to boot.

Crostata alla Marmellata (Jam Tart)
Recipe courtesy of Eataly

2 cups jam, any flavor
¼ cup apricot jam (optional), for glaze
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
¼ sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces, plus more for pan
1 egg yolk
1 pinch fine sea salt
¼ cup apricot jam (optional), for glaze

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl, and mix with a fork to combine. Scatter the butter on top and, with a pastry cutter or your fingers, pinch the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg yolk, and stir with the fork again until thoroughly combined. (You may need to switch to kneading briefly by hand.)

To make the crust with a food processor, place the dry ingredients in the bowl fitted with the metal blade. Pulse to combine, add the butter, and then pulse 4 to 6 times again, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg yolk, and process just until the dough forms a ball.

Shape the dough into a fat disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

When you’re ready to bake the tart, preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter either an 8- or 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or an 8-by-8-inch square pan, and set aside.

Place the dough on a lightly-floured work surface. Cut off about one third of the dough, rewrap it in plastic, and set aside. (Refrigerate if your kitchen is warm.) Roll the two-thirds of the dough ¼ to ½ inch thick in a circle or square about 1 inch larger than your pan. If the dough resists, let it relax for a few minutes and come back to it. Wrap the rolled dough around the rolling pin, transfer it to the pan, and unfold it into the pan. Press it against the bottom and sides of the pan.

Cut off a small piece of dough from the remaining piece and, with your hands, roll it into a ½-inch rope on the work surface. Place the rope around the perimeter of the pan on top of the rolled dough. Return the remaining dough, wrapped in plastic, to the refrigerator.

Line the crust with foil, fill with dried beans or pie weights, and bake until the crust is set and matte, about 15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven, and allow it to cool slightly. In the meantime, increase the heat to 400°F. When the crust is cool enough to handle, spread the 2 cups of jam in it in an even layer. Lightly flour the work surface, and roll out the remaining dough to the shape of the pan but 1 inch larger all around, between ¼ and ½ inch thick. Cut this into ½-inch to 1-inch wide strips for the top lattice. Place alternating strips on top of the tart, attaching the ends to the rope of dough that you created earlier. Arrange the remaining strips at an angle to the first strips, again attaching them to the rope of dough. Lattice made!

Now, bake your tart until the lattice strips are golden and dry, for 15 to 20 minutes.

If using the glaze, while the tart is baking, combine the apricot jam with 2 tablespoons of water in a small pot. Heat over low heat and whisk to combine, then strain out any chunks of fruit. While the tart is still warm, brush the lattice strips with the glaze. Cool completely on a rack, and serve at room temperature to your lucky guests.

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Hey! I'm Nicole Gaffney, but my friends all call me Coley. You should, too! Or call me Nicole. Whatever. Just don't call me late for dinner.

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